Oregon's Sex Guide for Teens: Written By Children, for Children

In 2009, something called the Oregon Youth Sexual Health Partnership was formed. The stated goal of the partnership was to develop the Youth Sexual Health (YSH) plan to address teen pregnancy prevention in a more holistic manner — shifting youth sexual health from a risk-focused paradigm to a youth-development model of sexual health and well-being.

So how is it that this partnership has produced the "Rational Inquirer," a guide to every sex question you can imagine (and many you can't) written by children, for children?

The table of contents of the "Rational Inquirer" includes such items as:

Exploring the safer sex buffet...................................................................................2

A fairy-tale first time.................................................................................................4

Masturbation at a glance.........................................................................................10

Plan ahead: Prevent unintended pregnancy...........................................................12

I claim the right to choose my ultimate gender......................................................15

Have you ever..........................................................................................................20

What’s it like to grow up in an open adoption?......................................................34

The infographic for the Safer Sex Buffet is a real eye-opener. It starts with the question, "Who doesn't love a buffet?" It has sections on condoms, testing for STIs, the PrEP method of avoiding HIV, lube, and a teeny tiny little graphic tucked away at the edge — Abstinence. It's written by Josh Farrar and Dano Beck, employees of the Oregon Health Plan in charge of sexual health services.

Many of these essays are written by teens. Though their names are already public in this state government document, I'm changing their names here because they're still children. Just a couple of samples:

John, 17, is a Sex, Etc. staff writer. John’s

articles were reprinted with permission from Sex,

Etc., a teen-written, sexual health magazine and

website published by Answer.

Megan is a junior at North Eugene High School. She loves music,

plays the flute and has been involved in two honor band

programs — one of her biggest passions. Megan likes

to write and read in her spare time. She has been

on the honor roll during most of high school and

loves learning. --- also loves Mexico’s culture,

language and freedom.

Andrew, 18, is a Sex, Etc. staff writer. Andrew’s article

was reprinted with permission from Sex, Etc., a

teen-written, sexual health magazine and website

published by Answer.

The essay on Fairy Tale sex is written by two teen girls. They address several myths about sex:

Fairy Tale #1: The first time will be soooooo romantic.

Fairy Tale #2: Sex will fix a broken relationship.

Fairy Tale #3: It will last for at least an hour.

Fairy Tale #4: You'll both reach climax simultaneously.

This essay concludes with quotes from other teens about their first time: